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The White House announced on Friday June 19, that President Barack Obama will visit Ethiopia in July. Obama’s visit will be the first by a US sitting president to Ethiopia.
Obama’s visit to Ethiopia is not for the first time. Nine years ago in August 2006, Obama had stopped over in Dire Dawa when he was a senator. He visited Dire Dawa, 500 km east of Addis Ababa, few weeks after the town was hit by flash floods.
During his visit the president is expected to meet with Ethiopian and African Union officials. Obama will come to Ethiopia after attending the global entrepreneurship summit in Nairobi, Kenya, his father’s native country.
Although any US president did not visit Ethiopia until now, the relation of the two countries has been historical. Especially, after the first meeting of the two countries’ heads of states 70 years ago, the two countries relation had been strong until the 1974 revolution.
Emperor Haile Selassie had the first meeting with an American president. On his way back from a conference in Yalta, USSR, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met him in Egypt on February 13, 1945 on board of the US vessel Quincy on the Great Bitter Lake, Suez Canal.